Universe Ages 80M Years; Big Bang Gets Clearer

ABC excerpts
"We've uncovered a fundamental truth of the universe," said George Efstathiou, director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at the University of Cambridge who announced the Planck satellite mapping result in Paris. "There's less stuff that we don't understand by a tiny amount."...

"What a wonderful triumph of the mathematical approach to describing nature," said Brian Greene, a Columbia University physicist who was not part of the new Planck research. "It's an amazing story of discovery."

"The precision is breathtaking," Greene said in an email Thursday after the announcement. "The satellite is measuring temperature variations in space — which arose from processes that took place almost 14 billion years ago — to one part in a million. Amazing."

Efstathiou marveled at how the Planck data was such "an extremely good match" to the theory of rapid inflation in the split-second after the Big Bang.

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